Tag Archives: Nature

My Name Is Bana

my name is bana

Seven-year-old Bana, a Syrian girl from Aleppo, took to Twitter to describe her war-torn home. In this picture book memoir, she offers her perspective on the war and being a refugee. She explains the origin of her name. Bana is a tall bushy tree that grows in Syria. Her father and mother wanted her to be strong just like the tree – being kind to others, standing up against injustice, and being brave in the face of fear. She also shows her strength by bringing joy to her brothers amidst bombings, starting over in a new country, and speaking to world leaders on behalf of Syrian refugee children. The illustrations rendered in acrylic paint and finished in procreate are emotional and bright. Arabic words are smoothly integrated into the text. An author’s note tells that the book is based on a true story. mjw

Title: My Name Is Bana
Author: Bana Alabed
Illustrator
: Nez Riaz
Publisher
: Salaam Reads/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1534412484
Hardcover pages
: 40
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture book, Autobiography
Book setting
: Syria and Turkey
Author’s ethnicity
: Syrian
Author’s residence
: Turkey
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Pakistani
Illustrator’s residence
: Boston, MA
Awards
: 2022 NCSS Notable Books
Subjects
: Autobiography, Biography, Children’s writings, Human rights, Refugee children, Syria – Civil War, Trees

It’s Up To Us: Building A Brighter Future For Nature, People, and Planet

It's up to us

This beautifully illustrated book is introduced by King Charles. His call to action for our planet is divided into four sections –Nature, People, Planet, and Terra Carta. The Terra Carta is a plan of action for the Earth created by HRH the Prince of Wales, now King Charles. The text is included in the book. Thirty-three award-winning artists from around the world have contributed wonderful artwork. Profiles of the illustrators are included as back-matter. The story tells how Nature operates and how People have damaged it. Information about the Prince’s Foundation and an index/glossary are also provided. mjw

Title: It’s Up To Us: Building  A Brighter Future For Nature, People, and Planet
Author: Christopher Lloyd
Illustrator
: 33 artists from around the world
Publisher
: What On Earth Books
Copyright
: 2022
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-9137505-6-5
Hardcover pages
: 64
Age range
: 6-10
Genre
: Picture book, Information book, Nonfiction
Author’s ethnicity
: English
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: 33 illustrators from around the world
Subjects
: Climate change, Conservation, Earth, Environment, Global community, Green living, Prince of Wales, Recycling, Sustainability. Terra Carta, Values

Born Behind Bars

Born Behind Bars

Nine-year-old, low-caste Kabir was born in jail in Chennai, India, because his mom is serving time for a crime she didn’t commit. He ends up living on the streets when a new warden decides that he is too old to still be living in jail. He meets Rani, a Roma girl, who helps him survive in the harsh, ugly outside world. He eventually finds his grandparents and a helpful lawyer who gets his mother released from jail. This story told through the lens of a young boy is both educating and entertaining. Kabir is brave and optimistic. Like Venkatraman’s other books, A Time To Dance, Climbing The Stairs, and The Bridge Home, this book is unforgettable. mjw

Title: Born Behind Bars
Author: Padma Venkatraman
Publisher
: Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-0593-11247-2
Hardcover pages
: 273
Age range
: 10 up
Genre
: Fiction, Novel
Book setting
: Chennai, India
Author’s ethnicity
: Indian
Author’s residence
: U.S.
Awards
: 2022 NCSS Notable Books, 2022 South Asia Award Winner
Subjects
: Homelessness, India, Poverty, Prejudice, Prisoners’ families, School, Street children

Bandoola: The Great Elephant Rescue

Bandoola

The colored pencil drawings are stunningly beautiful in this incredible true story about war veteran James Howard Williams; Bandoola, a working elephant; and Po Toke, the elephant’s keeper. They work together on a teak plantation in Myanmar (Burma), a country in Southeast Asia that was a colony of the British Empire. When World War II forces them to evacuate their home in the jungle, they lead a group of over 200 refugees and over 50 elephants across mountainous terrain to safety in Assam, India. A table of contents, a map, a wonderfully illustrated glossary, suggestions for further reading, and an author’s note add to this highly educational masterpiece. mjw

Title: Bandoola: The Great Elephant Rescue
Author: William Grill
Illustrator
: William Grill
Publisher
: Flying Eye Books, an imprint of Nobrow Ltd. London
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-83874-123-8
Hardcover pages
: 88
Age range
: 8-14
Genre
: Picture Book, Information Book, Nonfiction
Book setting
: Myanmar and India
Author’s ethnicity
: English
Author’s residence
: London
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: English
Illustrator’s residence
: London
Awards
: Author /Illustrator has won the 2015 Kate Greenaway Medal
Subjects
: Asian history, Burma, Deforestation, Elephants, Green living, Jungle, Logging industry, Monsoons, Mountains, Rainforests, Timber, Timber elephants, World War II

When The Sakura Bloom

When the Sakura Bloom

In winter, people “hustle, bustle; hurry, dash” to work and to school. Little by little the days get longer and warmer. In spring, the Sakura (Japanese cherry) trees begin to bloom. Birds visit the brand new cherry blossoms. The people realize that something is different. They pause. The Sakura blossoms make them happy and everyone enjoys the Sakura Festival. The delicate illustrations perfectly complement the message of the importance of slowing down to appreciate the moment. mjw

Title: When The Sakura Bloom
Author: Narisa Togo
Illustrator
: Narisa Togo
Publisher
: Berbay Publishing, Australia
Copyright
: 2022
Original Language
: Japanese
Translator
: Michael Sedunary
Original Title
: Sakura Ga Sakura
Original Publisher
: Fukuinkan Shoten Publishers, Inc. Tokyo, Japan
Original Copyright
: 2020
ISBN
: 978-0-6489-5331-9
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 3-7
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Japan
Author’s ethnicity
: Japanese
Author’s residence
: Japan
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Japanese
Illustrator’s residence
: Japan
Subjects
: Cherry blossoms, City life, Festivals, Sakura, Spring, Trees

Dulcinea In The Forbidden Forest

Dulcinea

It’s Dulcinea’s birthday and her father is making her pancakes with blueberries and whipped cream. However, they forgot to buy blueberries at the market. Dulcinea’s loving father knows that blueberries grow in the forbidden forest – the forest that he told Dulcinea to never go into because a witch, who is a hideous singer, lives in a castle there. He decides that nothing could happen to him in the forest, but then the witch sees him and turn s him into a tree. Dulcinea braves the dark forest, sneaks into the castle, finds the witch’s book of spells, and frees her father. The short chapters in this easy-to-read book are just right for young readers. The funny, inky black-outlined illustrations and the orange and brown palette perfectly enhance this hilarious, contemporary fairytale. mjw

Title: Dulcinea In The Forbidden Forest
Author: Ole Konnecke
Illustrator
: Ole Konnecke
Publisher
: Gecko Press. New Zealand
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: German
Translator
: Shelley Tanaka
Original Title
: Dulcinea im Zauberwald
Original Publisher
: Carl Hanser Verlag GmbH and Co. Munich
Original Copyright
: 2021
ISBN
: 978-1-776573-95-0
Hardcover pages
: 64
Age range
: 5-9
Genre
: Fairytale, Fiction
Author’s ethnicity
: German
Author’s residence
: Germany
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: German
Illustrator’s residence
: Germany
Subjects
: Birthdays, Fathers, Humor, Witches

The Words In My Hands

the words

The art journal of Deaf sixteen-year-old Piper, set in near-future Melbourne, Australia, is part coming of age story and part call to action. Piper is smart, artistic, and rebellious. Deaf since the age of three, she is told by her mother that she needs to conform, compensate and appear normal. She meets Marley, a CODA (child of a deaf parent), and a whole new world opens up for her. This is a time of food scarcity, environmental collapse, and political corruption. Piper is determined to build a sustainable food garden and communicate with her mom, friends, and community like she never has before. Back matter in this amazing book includes information on the Deaf community and various forms of sign language and ideas for journaling. mjw

Title: The Words In My Hands
Author: Asphyxia
Illustrator
: Asphyxia
Publisher
: Annick Press
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: English
Original Title
: Future Girl In Australia
Original Publisher
: Allen & Unwin, Australia
Original Copyright
: 2020
ISBN
: 978-1773215280
Hardcover pages
: 388
Age range
: 13-16
Genre
: Fiction, Novel
Book setting
: Australia
Author’s ethnicity
: Australian
Author’s residence
: Australia
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Australian
Illustrator’s residence
: Australia
Awards
: 2022 ALA Schneider Family Book Award for Teens, 2021 Children’s Book Council of Australia Notable Book of the Year for Older Readers 2021 White Raven
Subjects
: Activism, Auslan, Coming of age, Creativity, Deafness, Dystopian, Finger-spelling, Future, Gardens, Problem solving, Sign language, Special needs, Sustainability

The Crow And The Peacock

The Crow and the PeaockCrow sets off on a journey to find happiness. He first meets a gentle dove. Dove says that he thought he was the happiest bird alive until he heard Nightingale. So Crow goes to hear Nightingale, who says he thought he was happy until he heard Rooster. Crow then visits Rooster and is told that Swan must be the happiest bird alive. Finally he is encouraged to see Peacock, who truly must be the happiest bird in the world. Peacock says that once he was happy, but the emperor put him in a cage and all he wanted then was to be free to fly like a crow. So Crow flies back to the woods knowing that he is happy with his life and that all he wants is to share his happiness. This beautiful fable about happiness is illustrated in glorious, joyful colors. mjw
Title: The Crow And The Peacock
Author: Jo Fernihough
Illustrator
: Jo Fernihough
Publisher
: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers. Grand Rapids, Michigan
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: English
Original Publisher:
Oxford University Press. Oxford, England
Original Copyright
: 2020
ISBN
: 978-0-8028-5568-8
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book. Fable
Author’s ethnicity
: British
Author’s residence
: Cambridge, England
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: British
Illustrator’s residence
: Cambridge, England
Subjects
: Birds, Fables, Happiness

Christmas Is Coming: Traditions From Around The World

Christmas Is ComingAn international collection of legends, histories, traditions, and celebrations from around the world is included in this beautifully illustrated and detailed book. Thirty-nine brief sections take readers from Greece to Ethiopia, explaining many diverse perspectives. The book is organized by topics listed in the table of contents. Intriguing stories include Why do we decorate Christmas trees?, Why are there so many Christmas markets in Germany?, How the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree originated?, and much more. A glossary lists the words for Merry Christmas and Santa Claus in many different languages. mjw
Title: Christmas Is Coming: Traditions From Around The World
Author: Monika Utnik Strugala
Illustrator
: Ewa Poklewska Kozietto
Publisher
: NorthSouth Books, New York
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: Polish
Translator
: Antonia Lloud-Jones
Original Title
: Ida swieta!
Original Publisher
: NordSud Verlag AG, Zurich
Original Copyright
: 2019
ISBN
: 978-0-7358-4443-8
Hardcover pages
: 136
Age range
: 7 up
Genre
: Information Book, Nonfiction
Author’s ethnicity
: Polish
Author’s residence
: Italy
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Polish
Illustrator’s residence
: Poland
Subjects
:  Celebrations, Christmas, Customs, Traditions

The Speckled Feather

The speckled FeatherjpegThree birds named Ade, Emem, and Nuru live on the back of an elephant in the savanna. They are friends until one day a beautiful speckled feather blows into their midst. Ade grabs the feather and claims it as his. The birds fight over the feather. The elephant stamps his foot and says, “Enough!” But the birds keep quarreling into the night. Suddenly, a wild dog attacks the birds and the elephant swings his trunk to bang on the dog’s chest and hurls the dog away. The birds thank the elephant and promise, “No more quarreling” and “No more speckled feathers.” The colorful illustrations appear to be hand-drawn and are stunning. mjw
Title: The Speckled Feather
Author: Johanna Ries
Illustrator
: Johanna Ries
Publisher
: NorthSouth Books, Inc. New York
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: German
Translator
: David Henry Wilson
Original Title
: Die Fleckenfeder
Original Publisher
: NordSud Verlag AG, Zurich
Original Copyright
: 2020
ISBN
: 978-0-7358-4447-6
Hardcover pages
: 40
Age range
: 40
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: African savanna
Author’s ethnicity
: German
Author’s residence
: Germany
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: German
Illustrator’s residence
: Germany
Subjects
: Birds, Elephants, Greed, Loyalty, Savanna, Theft, Vanity, Wild dogs

Ninos: Poems For The Lost Children Of Chile

On September 11, 1973, a military coup in Chile led to a 17-year dictatorship. An Introduction to the book explains that 3197 people were killed and 34 were children under the age of 14. Thirty-four poems provide an homage to these children. The titles of the poems are the names of the children who were killed during General Pinochet’s regime. Four-year-old Soledad liked the sound of raindrops. Elizabeth wanted to be a teacher. Raul liked his mother calling him “little bird.” Many of the poems are about the natural world. This beautiful, heartfelt collection of poems is a touching memorial to the lost children of Chile. Backmatter includes every child’s full name and age. The soft, pastel-toned illustrations were created with watercolor, graphite pencil, charcoal, and colored pencils. mjw
Title: Ninos: Poems For The Lost Children Of Chile
Author: Maria Jose Ferrada
Illustrator
: Maria Elena Valdez
Publisher
: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers.
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: Spanish
Translator
: Lawrnece Schimel
Original Title
: Ninos
Original Publisher
: Alboroto ediciones, Mexico
Original Copyright
: 2019
ISBN
: 978-0-8028-5567-1
Hardcover pages
: 76
Age range
: 7 up
Genre
: Picture Book, Poetry
Book setting
: Chile
Author’s ethnicity
: Chilean
Author’s residence
: Chile
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Studied art in Caracas, Venezuela
Illustrator’s residence
: Barcelona, Spain
Subjects
: Democracy, Dictatorships, Nattural world, Poetry, Political violence

Now That Night Is Near

Now that Night is Near

It’s bedtime and everyone is settling down to sleep. Little children are tucked into bed. The cows and calves are sleeping in the fields. The foals, piglets, rabbits, lambs, and birds are going to sleep, too. A cat wanders through the fields. He is not ready for bed until the last page of the book, where he finally curls up on the child’s bed. The hand-painted gouache, ink, watercolor pencil, pastel, and acrylic illustrations are beautiful and filled with secret animals curled up in their beds. mjw

Title: Now That Night Is Near
Author: Astrid Lindgren (1907-2002)
Illustrator
: Marit Tornqvist
Publisher
: Floris Books
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: Swedish
Translator
: Polly Lawson
Original Title
: Alla Ska Sova
Original Publisher
: Raben & Sjogren
Original Copyright
: 2019
ISBN
: 978-178250-675-1
Hardcover pages
: 24
Age range
: 3-6
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Sweden
Author’s ethnicity
: Swedish
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Swedish
Illustrator’s residence
: Sweden
Subjects
: Bedtime story, Cats, Earth, Nature, Sleep